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10.7: In Mail show messages you've sent in conversation view Apps
The new version of Mail in Lion has a nice Conversation View, which shows messages in thread form (like Gmail). I like this view, but the main problem that I had with it was that, to see messages that you've sent in that conversation, you have to move to Sent Mail.

Luckily, Mail lets us show messages we've sent as well. Here's how to enable that:

Go to Mail » Preferences » Viewing. Under View Conversations, check the Include related messages box. Conversation view is now complete.

[crarko adds: I tested this, and it works as described.]
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10.7: Mail 5 Contact Photos for RSS Apps
Mail 5 in Lion includes a view option to show contact photos in the message list. This is great for people, but what about RSS? Instead of a generic person icon, you can get something better.

Create an Address Book contact with each feed author listed in the email block (they don't have to be actual addresses). To find the RSS author or group name, save a copy of a feed item and look for the "X-Mail-Rss-Source-Name" in the .eml file.

Depending on the contact you setup, you may need to organize your feeds or smart mailboxes by conversation to see the result.

[crarko adds: I haven't tested this one.]
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10.7: Changing Mailbox display sizes in Mail Apps
Apple has done a huge revamp of its Mail application. By default, you don't even see your list of Mailboxes along the left side of the main window. You can restore that view simply by going to View/Show Mailbox List.

Unfortunately, in my case, the Mailboxes were displayed much larger than I had them set in the previous version of Mail, with no available way to change the size from within the Mail app. The View/Use Small Mailbox Icons command is gone.

After a bit of digging around, I found the solution. Apple apparently now considers the Mailbox list to be a Sidebar, similar to the Sidebar in a Finder window. To change the size of the Mailbox List, navigate to System Preferences » General, where you will see a new option -- Sidebar icon size, with a choice of Small, Medium and Large. In my case, it was set to Medium. Simply choose your favorite size and your Mailboxes will now look the way you want them to.

One caveat: this setting affects ALL Sidebars, including those in the Finder. There is no longer a way to set the Mailbox size separately. Now, that would be a nice one for someone to figure out.

[crarko adds: I tested this, and it works as described. I don't know about other people, but I prefer that application preferences be tied to the application, and not a global setting like this.]
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10.7: Scripting a fix for the loss of the Command+D shortcut Apps
I do a lot of writing with TextEdit, using a keyboard shortcut with the macro editor QuicKeys. My SL macro would switch to or open TextEdit, close any previous TextEdit document using the built-in Mac keyboard shortcut Command+D (which closes a window without saving). Lion has evidently done away with the Command+D shortcut, so my macro wouldn't work. Here is a simple script that opens or switches to TextEdit, closes (without saving) any note that is there, and opens a new note:
tell application "TextEdit"
    close window 1 saving no
  end try
  make new document  
end tell
This can be entered in QuicKeys and activated with the keyboard shortcut of your choosing.

[crarko adds: I suppose the removal of Command+D is a result of the new Auto Save feature; things get saved whether you intend it or not.]
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Security with Proximity and iAlertU Apps
This hint describes how to use iAlertU with Proximity (a Bluetooth-enabled app) to secure your Mac. I have bundled the apps and scripts and give a thorough walk-through on how to set it up.

I have posted a hint previously on how to setup a Bluetooth capable cellphone as a security key for your Mac by activating the screen saver with a password .

Here is an alternative for those using laptops: iAlertU is a free app that is very LOUD! It will bring attention to anyone messing around with your lappy.

I have included the latest apps (with their checksums), along with two proximity scripts to make it work. Look in the README.rtfd file.

I'm not absolutely sure that it will work out of the box on Snow Leopard, so feedback is welcome (I'm on Leopard and it works fine).

Recent versions of iAlertU allow for a Hotkey to be used to arm the system (i.e., activate the security). I have coded F6 to be the trigger in my script. If F6 on your system is something else, modify the script to reflect the change.

Download the files, Turn on your Bluetooth, install Proximity, iAlertU and you can make them work as a security setup that works similarly to a car alarm.

iAlertU will make a loud noise when your mouse moves, screen is closed, keyboard is touched, or power cord is unplugged.

All apps and scripts are bundled here.

[crarko adds: I've mirrored the download here. There are separate versions of iAlertU for 10.5 and 10.6, so make sure you follow the directions and install the correct version.]
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Save Processor Cycles By Avoiding iTunes Store Apps
Keeping iTunes open doesn't use much in the way of processor power -- unless you've got the source selection set to 'iTunes Store.' You can reduce your processor consumption by simply keeping your selection on something internal (e.g., Podcasts or Music) instead.

I'm always trying to squeeze as much extra power out of my iMac as possible and keep a close eye on the processor usage with the iStat Menus widget. I frequently noticed a particularly high percentage of processor power being allocated to iTunes and couldn't figure out why; I wasn't playing music, downloading videos or using any other functions that could put a load on the processorů or so I thought.

After some experimentation I found that whenever the source (that list of items in the left-hand column) selected was the iTunes Store it caused a significant jump in usage. The only thing I can figure out is that the constant updating of the store's home page, revolving graphics and other real-time functions are using processing power whereas keeping the source selected to something more benign, like 'Podcasts' or 'Music' that accesses only locally stored content (i.e., already on your hard drive) doesn't have to do that.

I moved the selection from the iTunes Store to Podcasts and the percentage of processor use dropped from an average of 9% to 1.5-3.5% -- a fairly significant difference for a very small change.

If you, like me, are always trying to wring out the most power from an older machine, consider keeping something other than 'iTunes Store' selected in your iTunes application. It's a small change with a noticeable difference.

[crarko adds: You can see this hit in Activity Monitor as well. The iTunes 'Genius' function is another CPU-intensive activity that you should probably shut off if your trying to save cycles.]
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Saving oversize negatives Apps
Most home scanners are limited in the size negatives or positive film they accept. They are designed to work with 35mm slides; the size of the lighting strip.

This is a way I found to convert larger negatives and bypassing a scanner. It involves taking a (decently high resolution) photo of the negative itself (on a light board) and then importing the image into Photoshop, and inverting the negative into a positive image.

The video showing my method is on YouTube.

[crarko adds: This is one of those straightforward ideas that people may not think of right away, so I'll go ahead and publish it.]
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Free Address Book and Calendar Server Apps
For several years before Apple included their own offering with OS X Server I have been working on a solution to sync contacts and calendar events between networked Mac. Up to now I have been selling the product via my website.

I previously tried to submit a hint about being able to share contacts and events without the need for OS X Server or MS Exchange. However at that time it was reject as it was more a advertisement for a commercial product then a hint. However since the 4th of July 2011 anyone can request a free key via the website.

I am also hoping to get other developers interested in participating on this project and wonder if you would be happy to add a brief note to this hint to that effect. Please note that this is not a time limited free offer but a sincere attempt to build a community around this project.

From the 4th of July you can get your own free Address Book Server running on your network. No need for OS X Server, you don't even need a Mac to host your server. Any old Linux or Windows computer will do as well as most (10.4 onwards) PPC and Intel Macs. With Address Book Server you can synchronise your contacts, events and tasks between networked Macs as well as access the records via the server's web interface.

Each client has a synch services enabled client component installed which synchronises the records with the central server. Access to the server can be made available via the Internet by opening a port on your firewall.

On the backend of the server is a relational database. The embedded database used by default can be replaced with MySQL or PostgreSQL if you want to access your data from different applications.

There is lots of potential for improving on the current offering. The project would like to invite any interested developers to join and contribute.

The project website is : You can download the software from here. The Mac Disk Image includes installers for both the server and the client, as well as the documentation.

[crarko adds: I tested this, and it works as described. I just followed the QuickStartGuide and got it setup in just a few minutes. The server uses port 8080 as a default, and advertises the service over Bonjour.

With the eventual demise of MobileMe it's possible that people will be looking for alternatives to iCloud, I suppose. This could be one. I suspect the project would welcome some iOS and Android developers to create a client for those platforms, and Mac developers to extend the feature set, and ensure Lion compatibility. I'm publishing this hint in that spirit.]
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Improve render times of After Effects Apps
Improve the rendering times with Adobe After Effects; sometimes as great as from one hour to five minutes.

I did a test with a very complex scene composed in a big composition (5000x7000 pixels), with a lot of elements. Outside this composition the camera moves within a 1025x576 composition.

If I render it as is, in Full Current Options + Motion Blur activated the composition gives me approximately one hour of rendering time.

Then if you select a view port (that covers all the composition 1024x576) using the same conditions the render only takes 5 minutes! The easiest way to show the settings used is with this screenshot.

This isn't a catch-all method but it can work wonders in the right situation. You can read more here.

[crarko adds: I haven't tested this one.]
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10.6: Create global hotkeys to control Google Music playback Apps
Snow Leopard only hintI've been enjoying the Google Music Beta, but I hated having to go to my Web browser, to the Google Music tab, and click the button. So, I wrote some services to create global hotkeys to play/pause, skip forward/back, and toggle shuffle.

To create a service, open Automator. When asked to choose a template, select Service. Our service will have only one block: Run AppleScript. Type that into the search bar at the top left and drag the Run AppleScript item to the project area on the right.
Replace the code in the box already with this:
on run
  tell application "Google Chrome"
    set allWins to every window
    set allTabs to {}
    repeat with currWin in allWins
      set allTabs to allTabs & every tab of currWin
    end repeat
    repeat with currTab in allTabs
        if ((characters -10 thru -1 of (title of currTab as string)) as string) = "Music Beta" then set musicTab to currTab
      end try
    end repeat
    tell musicTab to execute javascript "SJBpost('playPause');"
  end tell
end run
If you're using Google Chrome, leave the code as is. If you're using Safari, change the 'Google Chrome' in the first line to 'Safari,' change the word title (near the middle) to name, and change the word execute on the third-to-last line to do.

Now, change the Service Receives menu to no input. Save the service somewhere safe but out-of-the-way.

Now, go to System Preferences » Keyboard » Keyboard Shortcuts » Services. Scroll down to the General section and find the service we just made. Click on the right column and type a keyboard shortcut (make sure it isn't used for anything else).

Now, from where ever you are you can press that shortcut and Google Music will play or pause playback.

To create shortcuts for the other functions, repeat the above steps and change one line of the code: change playPause (near the end) to prevSong. Save that service and give it a unique shortcut. Do this again with nextSong. And again with toggleShuffle.

Now you can control Google Music playback with keyboard shortcuts from everywhere.

If you are so inclined, you could use apps like KeyRemap4MacBook to remap the built-in media keys to F-keys, and use an app like Butler to assign these scripts to those F-keys.

[crarko adds: I haven't tested this one.]
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